Career Success in the New Year, How Can We Prepare for It?

What experience should we take from this year to build on to it?

BY: Kayvonna Stigall

As we bend the corner of 2020, rounding out the last quarter its only logical that we start to look at the upcoming 2021 New Year. Many may be wondering what does this next year hold when it comes to business and opportunities after experience new normalcies. What better time to get some ideas than now? I had the chance to catch up with Lisa Nichols, Founder/ Coach Consultant at Love Your Niche LLC, Jennifer W. Martineau, PhD, coauthor of Kick Some Glass: 10 Ways Women Succeed At Work On Their Own Terms and the President and Founder of Leap & Inspire Global LLC and Phallon Treece, Founder of Human Dignity International, to get some insight on what their perspective was on the year ahead as it pertains to career success.

According to Lisa Nichols, “The career landscape has changed dramatically over the past year, causing many of us to reevaluate what we truly want in our careers-and our lives.” She goes on to say that there are areas of growth that she has observed in 2020 that will continue to provide new career opportunities in 2021. A few of these areas are remote work, clarity, corporate changes, family focus and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Lisa says, “We’ve all improved our expertise when it comes to remote communication, new work rhythms, and finding a healthy balance while working from home.”

She goes on to discuss the corporate changes that have taken place. “The rapid transition to remote work has led to a whole new culture and new possibilities within the corporate space. Those who need or want to work from home are no longer at a disadvantage when it comes to job opportunities.” As it pertains to diversity, equity and inclusion, Lisa states, “The increased focus on creating more equitable corporate cultures has opened up opportunities for people to enter new spaces and impact the trajectory of the organization. It has also paved the way for changes that allow opportunities for current employees to advance.”

Meanwhile, Jennifer W. Martineau, PhD sees an alternate path for women in the workforce. She observes that there has been an increased need for parental presence in the home during the work day as most schools currently offer one option – online learning. Jennifer notes that “The McKinsey-Leanin. Org annual report [shows] women are dropping out of the workforce in higher percentages than men this year, for the first time in the six years of the survey. This means that the progress women have made over the past six years moving into leadership role may well be reversed.” She says that the pandemic is largely responsible since “women tend to be more responsible for the job of home-schooling children who are not attending school in person, as well as for the duties of cleaning the home, providing meals for the family, etc.” There is no doubt that families have had to make some adjustments and added responsibilities to their day to day routines because of the pandemic. “The added burden on women has led many women to take at least some time away from their career rather than feel like they cannot do everything well enough,” she says. Jennifer offers three tips for career success in 2021:

  1. Steadily demonstrate progress in your current career.
  2. Capitalize on emerging opportunities for entrepreneurship.
  3. Stay active professionally if you must take a leave of absence from the work force.

Whether you have been on leave from work or are working remotely, the last several months may have unlocked newfound time for yourself. We may have been right on track with getting positioned for some muchneeded self-reflection. Phallon Treece provides some self-perspective strategies, suggesting that self assessment and personal reinvention is necessary for career success in the year ahead. “Self-assess strengths and major gaps in your skillset. Even in COVID, use this time to selfassess. Do some reflection and review your performance.” Ask yourself, “What new abilities and skills are in demand [to help me] stay ahead of the curve?”

Phallon also says that reinventing yourself for the new year is a good idea. “Reintroduce yourself with the value you add to your market audience. Ask yourself, what current problems you solve and make the answers to THAT question how you define yourself. Now is the perfect time to Reinvent, ReBrand and Build Ambassadors.”

There you have it! No reason for us to go into the New Year empty-handed. Let’s take these gems and let them light up the New Year with much success and opportunities! Stay lit with possibilities and prosper in your career endeavors in the coming year!

Kayvonna Stigall is a lover of words who enjoys writing poetry and short stories. She is a writer, 3-time published author and the CEO of Rise Above the Clouds/iSpitInk, LLC


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